A narrow boat should be fitted with navigation lights, on port and starboard sides as well as a wide beam headlamp and a stern light. Any narrow boater who is contemplating night-time cruising (or indeed is likely to navigate through a tunnel on their journey) will need to ensure their narrowboat lights are checked before a cruise.
Narrow boat headlights are often knocked out of alignment in the course of day to day cruising, so many narrow boaters find that that as soon as they enter a tunnel, the beam is pointing anywhere other than where they want it! This is why it is good practice to check your boat any time you know your route will encompass the use of lights. Some water authorities don’t like to promote night time cruising, because in the dark it is so easy to forget to close paddles, and drain the cut.
However, cruising along a moonlit canal is one of the great pleasures of the waterways, and let’s not beat about the bush – narrow boaters of old used to do it regularly.
If you intend cruising for any length of time at night, make sure that your gauges are visible. Many instruments are supplied without bulbs for night time use, and you do not want to be in the middle of a tunnel wondering if your engine is overheating etc, only to find you cannot check it.